In the United States going on a journey by car is thrilling. You get to see what cities and states are really like. You get to taste the local food, find out the unique things it has to offer, get an idea of your own as to why people live in such a place as opposed to perhaps to the places where the movies think we all live. You get not only the sights and sounds and smells but an understanding of the world outside your familiar zone. All good input for preppers who are planners and always want to have an idea of what the road ahead offers.
We are often surprised by an area that is more friendly than its reputation (New York) more fun than its marketing collateral (the Gulf Coast) and more interesting than a spot on a map-App (Southeastern Utah.). It is fun and educational.
As much as we like the idea of traveling by car, we have to take into consideration that there really some places that are not safe, that the lollipop forest with prancing Unicorns is perhaps more the result of substance abuse than reality, and planning, as always, is a smart thing. Crime never takes a vacation and seldom passes on an opportunity so even if it looks like you have just pulled into Mayberry, you should lead with caution.
Before you toss your bags in the trunk, prepare yourself. First, keep yourself current and knowledgeable with a current driving guide , prepare for this as you would any adventure or trek. Make sure you have alternative drivers you trust enough to feel relaxed enough to nap while they are at the wheel.
Next, take your car in for a maintenance check if it is near any of the thresholds – oil change, brakes inspected, all lights and signals working, registration not due to expire, and such. You do not want automobile problems on the road or an expensive souvenir from the state Highway Patrol. Once you are up to date and you know your car is in good shape, plan your trip. Below you will find a list of safety tips that will let you know what to do, and what not to do on your road trip.
- Do not carry the original paperwork (title) that came with the car, unless you are planning to exchange the vehicle as a part of the trip. Do not even carry a copy with you
- Do not be an obvious target. If you travel out of state there is nothing you can do about your license plate, but you do not have to advertise that you are a vagabond on a quest. Avoid putting luggage on top of the car. Do not leave computers, tablets, or expensive items where people can see them. While you are driving, keep them hidden under a coat, a seat or a travel blanket. This includes the cases – do not give a criminal reason to mark you
- As with any planned trip, let someone know your schedule and keep them updated of any changes or delays
- Listen to local radio stations while you in the area. This will let you know if there are any traffic issue or emergencies in the area
- No matter how frail or in trouble a person may appear, do not stop to help someone waving you down. Keep going. Pay attention to the mile markers and call the police for them, and keep driving
- Select your route carefully; pay attention to your outside surroundings
- Watch your mirrors and know who is around you at all times. If you think someone is following you, use GPS to guide you to the nearest police or highway patrol station
- Turn off the auto locks on your car. If you pull up to a gas station or to go window, you do not want all your doors to unlock if you put the car in park
- Try not to travel alone if it is possible
Have a basic emergency kit in your car
- A blanket
- A flashlight
- A charged battery pack for your cell phone; cell phone charger for the vehicle
- A source of heat and fire – even if you become stranded in the snow, a candle will put off enough heat to keep you alive, as long as you crack a window and don’t set yourself or the vehicle on fire, but they don’t last long
- Bottled water – on any road trip no matter the conditions
- Protein bars, crackers, raisins, or other foods that will not spoil
- Waterproof socks, gloves, and hat
- A knife and a legal form of self-defense – know the laws of the area; most states honor the rule that a vehicle equates to your home away from home BUT not all do, know before you go
- First aid kit, and the knowledge of how to use all of its contents.
- If you are on medication, carry a 3 day supply in your emergency kit
Preppers will have their appropriate prepared bags for survival with them.
The most important thing you can do on the road is to not bring attention to yourself as a traveler. We all like to talk to people, but you do not know that person. Be prepared for the worse but look for the best. This will go a long way towards guaranteeing a safe trip and a safe return.
About the author – Ashley is a writer at studyclerk website and a content marketing specialist. She is an award-winning writer. Since her first high school award in Creative Writing, she continues to deliver awesome content through various niches.